Perhaps it was the emotion that went into Tuesday night's senior day festivities, perhaps it was the drain of everything that has taken place since the beginning of October, or perhaps it was merely the fact that they ran into a very good team that has lost just one conference game in the past four years.
Whatever it was, Louisville looked like a shell of the team Cardinal fans had been treated to for the past four months, and dropped a 68-46 decision at Virginia in its final game of the 2015-16 season. The loss was U of L's largest since a 90-59 loss at Providence on Jan. 10, 2012.
I'll be perfectly honest, I have no idea where to take the wrap-up post from this point, much the same as I've had no idea what to think about the last five weeks. This is uncharted and miserable territory for all of us, and I think we're all just going to have to try and navigate the next month or so however we can. Watch the tournament as an objective viewer, adopt a team for the month, avoid the men's tournament entirely; whatever.
One thing I do know: I hope my first experience with a set end date to a Louisville basketball season is my last experience with a set end date to a Louisville basketball season. The last month five weeks have not been fun, and Saturday night was especially not fun. If there's a positive to be taken out of all of this, it's that hopefully it stays lodged somewhere in our subconscious and make us enjoy what will hopefully be occurring 12 months from now more than we've ever enjoyed a Cardinal March before.
It doesn't feel real and it doesn't feel right, but the beautiful journey came to an expected, but still screeching halt Saturday night. It will return, it will be fixed, and it will be better.
For now, I leave you with this: Thank you, Trey Lewis. Thank you, Damion Lee. You handled an incredibly unfair and incredibly awful situation that you couldn't have possibly seen coming with legitimately the most amount of grace possible. You gave Louisville fans a handful of tremendous memories and kept the program together when it could have completely unraveled without a great deal of work. You will not be forgotten.
Also, thank you, Dillon Avare. You're really cool, too.
Here's your box score:
|A. MahmoudF||Did not play|
|M. MathiangC||Did not play|
|R. McMahonG||Did not play|
|J. HendersonG||Did not play|
|A. NicholsF||Did not play|
|M. DiakiteF||Did not play|